The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Carleton, Henry Guy
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 04701
Date: [28 January 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P341
Document Type: ALS[3]

[monogram:] WH[4]

S. W.

My dear Major -

I wish enough you would send me that niggur [sic] book that I always liked - and used to have on the table near me - Dont you remember the something "Street Poker Club[5]"? -

It may be among the papers in the "boot box" - or it may have gone back to Paris - Do you know? -

Dont otherwise be troubled, any of [p. 2] you, about me among the Britons!

"I'm[6] all right!" - and Mrs. Willis[7] is a lovely type of the upper class bourgeoise of the country that I wouldn't have been without knowing for any thing! -

Tell Bunny[8] that the velvet came - & that I shall write and thank her - the beautiful little packing case in itself showed where it came from -

Well, my dear Major, it would be difficult to suppose from your letters that you do not "hate" the people among whom you are now living, - but from my notes I fancy there can be no such uncertainty! That I have the creatures among whom I live, in daily detestation I think ought to be beyond dispute! - and because of this warm feeling, I had every sympathy with any sentiment of your own - So it shall be just as you like -

I wouldn't have you suffer from your surroundings, as I should do here, if it were not for a certain sense of mischief that is amused by the smuggness [sic] of it all -

Wherefore Major think it all over at your [p. 3] ease - and if you really would like to leave the "Frenchies" and feel that that [sic] they are perhaps even having an effect upon your health - which is a notion I have got into my head - well then you shall have as nice a little house as I can get you near your own Chelsea -

I shall go down to Dhu House[9], by the way, again directly,

So good night to you both - and the kindest of messages from

the General.

This document is protected by copyright.


'JAN 28 1897'

Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
[postmark:] LONDON / 1.15. AM / JA28 / 97


1.  [28 January 1897]
Dated from the postmark. The date was also added in another hand, possibly that of the recipient, on the envelope.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  ALS
The envelope has a deep mourning border.

4.  WH
The yellow embossed monogram of William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

5.  Street Poker Club
H. G. Carleton's The Thompson Street Poker Club, with illustrations by E. W. Kemble, first appeared in 1884, but JW may have had the edition published by Dick and Fitzgerald in 1888. It featured African-Americans, the 'niggurs' of JW's terminology.

6.  I'm
Double underlined.

7.  Mrs. Willis
Mrs Willis, JW's housekeeper at 8 Fitzroy Street [more].

8.  Bunny
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

9.  Dhu House
The home of Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more], and family in Chelsea.